Art on Tuesday: Makeup

Kobayakawa Kiyoshi 小早 川清 (1897-1948) painted this Japanese woman.  The Japanese artist produced several pictures of women in daily situations. This one shows a woman applying her makeup. It is a very beautiful and graceful scene. The woodblock print is the second of his ukiyo-e series called: Fashions of the Modern World. Makeup. 近代時世粧ノ内  二 化粧 . As written in the subtitle of the picture. 

Source: Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Art on Tuesday: The Jewel River of Bush Clover

Utagawa Toyoharu 歌川豊春 (c. 1735-1814) painted a series of ukiyo-e called The Fashionable Six Jewel Rivers 風流六玉川. This one is showing the Jewel River of Bush Clover 萩 in Yamashiro, a historical province located in today’s south of Kyôto. These jewel rivers or crystal rivers were painted by ukiyo-e artists often. You clearly see an influence of Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木 春信 (c. 1725-1770) in the style of this woodblock print.

Source: MFA Boston

Art on Tuesday: Leisure in the Floating World

Ukiyo-e by Torii Kiyonobu I 鳥居 清信 (1664–1729) painted around 1720. He is one of the founders of the Torii-school of painting and known for his Kabuki related motifs. This picture is named: 浮世つれずれ. Two women of the pleasure quarters are reading in their leisure time.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Art on Tuesday: Water Lilies

Water lilies painted by Ohara Koson 小原 古邨 (1877-1945) ca. 1920. Ohara is known for his woodblock paintings often showing birds, fishes, trees, flowers and landscape motifs in different variations. He made several pictures of lotus and water lilies, which are very beautiful. Look at Art on Tuesday: Lotus.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Art on Tuesday: Naruto Whirlpools

This very famous ukiyo-e made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) is called Naruto Whirlpools in the Awa Province (1855). Naruto is located at the Shikoku coast. The Naruto whirlpools 鳴門の渦潮 are a natural phenomenon, which can be watched even today. Utagawa Hiroshige painted another very similar ukiyo-e with wave motifs shown on Japan Kaleidoskop on August 2013.  It is a View of Mount Fuji at Suruga Beach on the Pacific coast of Honshû.

Art on Tuesday: Arashima

A Panoramic View of Arashiyama from the Triple Teahouse 嵐山三軒家より眺望 by Hasegawa Sadanobu 長谷川貞信 I painted in 1870/71 as a part of his series Famous Places in the Capital. Arashima is located in western Kyôto. You see a green rural landscape with a calm atmosphere. In the center the lake with two boats, on the right the teahouse mentioned in the title. On the left Arashima’s hillside. At the beach are some cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Arashima is a nice place to visit.

Art on Tuesday: Tenman-gu in Ôsaka

Hasegawa Sadanobu I (1809–1879) painted this interesting ukiyo-e named The Temporary Shrine of the Tenman-gû 天満宮御旅所 as part of his series One Hundred Views of Ôsaka in 1869/70. It is a beautiful scene from the perspective of the river showing one leisure boat from the side with two Japanese women. In the background of the river you see two punts with barrels. The Tenman-gu Shrine in Ôsaka 大阪天満宮 was build in the 10th century, but often burned down and was then rebuild many times. The Tenjin-Matsuri is held here on July 24th and 25th every year as one of the biggest festivals in Japan.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts

Art on Tuesday: Fushimi Inari Shrine

Hasegawa Sadanobu I. 長谷川 貞信 (1809-1879) painted an ukiyo-e series called Famous Places in the Capital, which was Kyôto in earlier days. This picture is the scenery of the Fushimi Inari taisha 伏見稲荷大社 of 1870-1871. A very famous place and a frequently visited tourist spot even today.

Source Museum of Fine Arts

Art on Tuesday: Early Summer


Uemura Shôen (上村松園) painted this young lady. It is an early summer scene. She is holding a round fan, observing and maybe trying to catch a firefly. The title of this picture is “An evening in early summer” (初夏の夕). She wears a light green kimono with a blue obi, look at the emblem-like cranes. The crane 鶴 (tsuru) is a symbol for longevity and good luck.

Art on Tuesday: Reading a Letter

This young courtesan is reading a very long letter while she is sitting on a veranda. The paper door in the background is open, so that you can see a cherry tree in full bloom.
At the bottom a cat is playing with the right end of the paper roll. This ukiyo-e was painted by Torii Kiyomitsu 鳥居清満 (1735-1785). The name of the picture is 文を読む遊女と猫 (courtesan reading a text/letter and a cat). His style reminds me of Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木 春信 (1725-1770) for example see his picture named Viewing the moon or Fishing on the Sumida River.

(source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston).